Fighting Addiction In Our Own Backyard
We’ve got to hand it to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Our own local paper has done a tremendous job of bringing addiction to the forefront and bravely reporting on stories that many other community news outlets refuse to touch. In 2018 alone, they’ve shared multiple stories about neighborhood heroes who battled and beat their dependencies, as well as local event announcements aimed to educate Newhall residents about the dangers of the opioid crisis.
As we’ve said many times before, we are extremely proud to be part of the Santa Clarita community. Our Newhall facility has become tremendously accommodating, thanks very much to the tranquil, homespun environment where it sits. And did we mention that we’re ranked one of the safest cities in California? Well that’s a story for another time, as today we’re putting our attention toward The Signal and the incredible work their writers are doing.
One of their stories that recently caught our attention focused on longtime SCV resident Larry Huddleston. Larry bravely put a face to the localized opioid crisis and shared his story of addiction and recovery. An Air Force veteran who suffered back pain after the service, he eventually found himself hooked on fentanyl; taking as many as 100 painkillers a month.
Huddleston’s innocent prescription quickly escalated into a full-blown addiction, which nearly destroyed his personal life and career. But, as we mentioned before, Larry is a true success story and fought back against his urges; ultimately letting go of his dependency in 2013. Since then, he has become a local recovery advocate and openly shares his story with other Newhall residents.
“There’s a lot that people don’t understand about what this drug really does,” Huddleston told The Signal. “I’ve learned a lot. I don’t judge anybody on this point anymore because I think one of the main things I learned is that people who are physically addicted — they’re treating some kind of pain, I was treating my back pain, and over all that time… I had no idea how much it was numbing that emotional pain — until I stopped.”
And for the record, The Signal puts out stories like these as a regular series; which they title SCV in Recovery. The news site also showcases community action events coming out of Santa Clarita, many times focused on addiction. Just last week, they profiled the Thursday night recovery panels that occur at Valencia Public Library.
The previous event featured speaking sessions from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s executive director Cary Quashen. His lecture focused on family members of addicts and preventative measures that can be taken to combat the early stages of opioid addiction. The panel also included local residents who conquered their addictions and are now thriving with a clean and sober lifestyle.
If you haven’t already, we highly recommend following The Signal on social media. And if you don’t live in our neighborhood, make sure to support your own local news outlet and encourage them to profile this devastating crisis. A small article can go a long way…